Infrastructure services provider Kier will be transferring 120 of its staff to Highways England (HE) as the Government-funded agency moves to take a more controlling role in asset management of the country’s strategic road network (SRN).
As part of its commitment to enhancing the way England’s motorways and major A-roads are maintained, improved and operated, HE has introduced a new way of working that will see a smoother transition to the transfer of key services in-house, with the aim of ensuring a better experience for road users. The innovative new system, progressive asset selivery (PAD), comes after more than a year’s planning and was rolled out in the Midlands (Area 9) and the South East (Area 3) regions on July 1. PAD will provide a link between the traditional Asset Support Contracts (ASCs) and the Asset Delivery model that puts HE in direct control of asset management, maintenance and other services.
Two three-year contracts have been awarded to Kier as an extension to the existing ASC arrangements that have been performing at a high level across the Midlands and the South East regions. The new arrangements will see the smooth transition of services into HE’s direct control with the continued support of the supplier. This safety net offered by Kier will ensure it is ‘business as usual’, while allowing the business to explore new and more efficient ways of working as it moves towards Asset Delivery. It will also ensure HE can maintain excellent levels of customer service, delivery and safety as it makes the transition.
The new contracts target 13 business objectives, including:
- Setting up regional operations centers as HE-controlled single deployment organizations responsible for incident and congestion management;
- Asset data collection;
- Non-technical inspections;
- Planning and managing technology assets;
- Customer and stakeholder engagement.
“We have a long history of working in Area 3 and Area 9 and we are proud to have assisted Highways England in mobilizing this next contract; progressive asset delivery,” commented Kier Highways’s executive director, Dave Wright. “As the first service provider to support the client in this way, we would like to thank our teams for working so hard in such a short space of time to achieve a shared goal. This is the true definition of collaboration. We are also extremely proud to be mobilizing the new Area 9 Technology Maintenance Contract, which is a highly specialized field, and we look forward to the next three years working alongside our colleagues in Highways England.”
HE’s Midlands divisional director, Catherine Brookes, said, “This is a huge change to how we will provide our services in the West Midlands. We are taking the controlling role in asset management and investment decisions, but also continuing to build on the great collaborative relationships developed over the past five years in our contract with Kier and the wider supply chain.”
HE Area 3 divisional director, Nicola Bell, noted, “The transition to progressive asset delivery marks a significant milestone for us in the South East and is a real testament to the commitment and determination of the team in Kier and Highways England who have worked collaboratively to make it happen.”